Live Review: Pulled Apart By Horses

Cluny, Newcastle, January 11

Richard Johnson/NME
Pic: Richard Johnson/NME
Tonight plays host not only to Yorkshire’s oft-touted saviours of thrash but by far the most insane crowd The Cluny has ever seen, half 16-year-old hardcore kids and half 50-year-old headcases throwing pint glasses around. NME doesn’t remember being enough of a dick aged 16 to steal a guitarist’s shoe, but then we were into polite bands. This is far weirder than any gig in a 300-capacity venue should be, and that’s as much down to the audience as Pulled Apart By Horses, a band who break 15 noise regulations just by turning up.

Their last gig in Newcastle was cancelled because lead singer Tom Hudson was busy coughing up blood, the same lead singer who tonight uses two songs as an opportunity to spit water over everyone. Now, considering spitting on anyone in Newcastle, ever, is a notoriously calculated risk, it’s little wonder he spends his time coughing up blood.

PABH look like a bunch of teenage dog murderers and act like the kids in school you begrudgingly liked because they were funny as well as relentlessly annoying. If you like your riffs outrageously stupid and completely sincere, then with tracks like ‘Yeah Buddy’ you’ve come to the right place. The furious pace is intoxicating. ‘Back To The Fuck Yeah’ sounds like the band The Vines were at their ‘Highly Evolved’ best and Tom’s dives into the crowd become almost nihilistic in their frequency and ferocity. All of this will be familiar to anyone who has braved their front teeth to see them but it still feels exhilarating. It’s simultaneously obnoxiously witty, intelligent, self-aggrandising (in a good way) art metal and total and utter chaos, and completely one hell of a show.

The surreal moments keep flooding in by the bucket load, from guitarist James Brown dangling from the lighting rig with no shoes and socks on to their guitar tech smacking the army of stage-invading girls on the arse to get them back on the floor. Regardless of how little you think PABH are ‘your thing’, they are – forgive the cliché – something you have to see live to believe. They are irresistible; inarguably awesome, radical and totally bodacious.

Rebecca Robinson

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